January 22, 2013
Remembering that life isn't black and white
The women's group I lead consists of several women who are fairly new to the faith. As we read through our book, talk through the weekend's sermon, or discuss a passage of Scripture, it's inevitable that questions arise. And their questions seem to center on application: What does this mean for me? What does this mean for the lifestyle I'm used to?
For those of us who have been in the church for some time—or have been part of the Christian subculture for some time—these questions may bubble up well-rehearsed answers:
Of course it means you shouldn't live with your boyfriend—you're just going to have to move out immediately.
Of course it means that line of work isn't okay—you're just going to have to quit your job.
Of course it means you shouldn't be friends with her—you're just going to have to distance yourself.
It can be easy to forget that life isn't simply black and white. And while we might be able to identify the ideal, that doesn't mean it's immediately possible.
A recent blog post from Out of Ur reminded me of this ever-present dynamic in my group. The post discusses a new trend of "insider Christians" in other parts of the world—people who are following Christ yet are not willing to leave the cultural and religious communities, especially in Hindu and Muslim communities where the religion is enmeshed in the culture.
The story of these insider Christians forces us to ask the same thing that the women in my group are asking: "What does it look like to be a Christian?" As Christians further down the road, we need to carefully consider our answer. We can't sell the gospel short, but we also can't underestimate the difficulties of their situations—and the potential for God to work within it.
So I'm curious, how would you define, in a nutshell, what it looks like to be a Christian? And is that picture for all Christians everywhere and at all times? Share with us below.
posted by Amy Jackson on January 22, 2013 9:33 AM